Nancy's Tea Rooms, Lambert's Yard, Tonbridge, 22 September 2016
Nancy's Tea Room opened in August, after teasing us with its makeover for quite some time (previously there were some public loos there!). It's a quaint looking bright white, timber building near the river, Tonbridge Park and the High Street. The signage is traditional and the overall effect is one of nostalgia for tea rooms of my childhood, before the arrival of the coffee chains.
Katie, the owner - the tea room is named after her daughter - offers a simple menu of jacket potatoes, sandwiches, paninis and the like, and of course, home made cakes. My friends and I sat upstairs, which is larger than it looks, and ordered sandwiches and a cream tea.
The service was very prompt and attentive and the sandwiches didn't take long at all to arrive. I ordered one of my childhood faves of cheese and pickle and I was not disappointed. The sandwiches were very generously filled (my friend's tuna mayo sandwich was too) and really tasty. I appreciate it's hard to go wrong with a cheese and pickle sandwich but some places do, providing limp, sparsely filled offerings where the cheese is sliced and not grated...little things like that matter.
The cream tea came with plenty of cream and jam; I had recently tasted a bad scone (overwhelming margarine taste) so my taste buds were piqued with anticipation but there was nothing to worry about, this one was fine.
Red velvet, chocolate fudge, orange and lemon cakes were on offer and I plumped for a slice of lemon and a slice of orange to takeaway (to share with my children I hasten to add). The cakes were moist, although I think the orange and lemon flavours could have been a little stronger so that you really experience a citrus hit. They were perfectly decorated with just the right amount of icing, adorned with a candied orange/lemon slice. We thoroughly enjoyed them!
Nancy's has found a niche in Tonbridge I think and has differentiated itself from some of the other cafes gracing the High Street with its simplicity and nod to a bygone era - these qualities make it feel easy, welcoming and homely. I will definitely return.